Important delivery milestone reached as ACOG launches its first public engagement exercise in Scotland
Published on: in the Masterplan category
- The Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG) has today launched its first public engagement exercise in Scotland.
- This is an important delivery milestone for ACOG and the development of the Airspace Change Masterplan for Scottish airspace, the next step on the UK’s airspace modernisation journey.
- The period of engagement will run for six weeks from today and gives people a chance to find out more about Scotland’s plans to upgrade its airspace.
ACOG has today reached its next step in developing the UK’s Airspace Change Masterplan, launching its first public engagement exercise in the Scottish cluster. The engagement exercise is an opportunity for ACOG to share information and progress with a wide range of stakeholders on the development of the Masterplan related to Scottish airspace – the network of routes in the sky.
The Masterplan for Scotland centres around the redesign of airspace around Edinburgh and Glasgow airports (below 7000ft), alongside the higher-level changes being made by NATS.
Scotland is one of four ‘clusters’ of UK airports that are required to modernise their airspace below 7000ft as part of the Government’s Airspace Modernisation Strategy to deliver ‘quicker, quieter and cleaner flights’. Because of the number of airports involved and the complexities of the programme, ACOG’s role is to coordinate these changes into a single coordinated implementation plan – or Masterplan – out to 2040.
There are 20 airports in the programme and the ‘clusters’ are based on geographical locations where the most airspace interactions occur. They include southern Scotland, north of England, the west of the UK and the southeast of England.
An upgrade to the airspace around airports, which has remained largely unchanged since the 1950s, will allow the UK to continue to take advantage of the jobs, tourism spend, travel, and cargo benefits that aviation provides, while future growth will be enabled should it be needed. It will also mean fewer delays for passengers, and reduced carbon emissions per flight thanks to more direct and efficient routes. For those communities living around airports, aviation noise performance has improved significantly in recent decades, driven by the introduction of quieter aircraft, and airspace modernisation is expected to result in a further reduction in the average noise levels per flight.
Mark Swan, Head of ACOG, said:
“It is exciting to see Scotland at the vanguard of the programme of airspace change. Our Public Engagement Exercise is an important step towards the delivery of the Airspace Change Masterplan for the UK and an opportunity for stakeholders to see the progress that has been made on specific elements of it. It brings us one step closer to unlocking the benefits of airspace modernisation – making air travel more efficient with fewer delays, mitigating environmental impacts inc. noise and emissions and helping the UK to be more connected to global markets and holiday destinations.
I look forward to continuing to help deliver this critical national infrastructure project for Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
The public engagement exercise, which launched on Monday 29th January runs for six weeks until Sunday 10th March. People can access ACOG’s online portal here where the public engagement exercise is hosted.